Faculty | UMSL

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Andrew Black Teaching Professor
555 Lucas | 516-6199 | ablack@umsl.edu | C.V.
Andrew Black
Andrew Black is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Philosophy at UMSL. He joined the department in 1999. Before coming to UMSL, Professor Black taught for eight years at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and one year at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He received his B.A. from the University of London and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. He teaches in the history of philosophy, philosophy of science and logic. He has published articles on seventeenth century philosophy and epistemology; he is co-author of "The Elements of Reasoning" (5th edition, Wadsworth 2007), and is author and presenter of a television video series "Great Philosophers" (aired on the Higher Education Channel - channel 26). He is currently writing a book introducing the philosophy of science for science teachers, and researching the philosophy of Leibniz. Professor Black was born in England, and moved to the U.S.A. in 1985.
Michelle Ciurria  Adjunct Instructor
ciurriam@umsl.edu | C.V.
Michelle Ciurria
Michelle Ciurria (she/they) completed her PhD at York University and held postdoctoral fellowships at Washington University and the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Her research interests include ethics, moral psychology, Marxist feminism, critical race theory, and critical disability theory. She is the author of An Intersectional Feminist Theory of Moral Responsibility (Routledge, 2019), and a regular contributor to “Biopolitical Philosophy,” the leading blog on critical disability theory. She is working on a book on the ethics and politics of resilience. 

Jill Delston  Associate Teaching Professor
567 Lucas | 516-6198 | delstonj@umsl.edu | C.V. | website

Jill Delston
Jill B. Delston has interests in social and political philosophy, normative ethical theory, applied ethics, and ancient Greek philosophy. Before joining the department in 2012, she was visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Mount Holyoke College. She is the co-editor of a textbook entitled Applied Ethics: A Multicultural Approach (Eds. 5 and 6). She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis. Her book, Medical Sexism: Contraception Access, Reproductive Medicine, and Health Care is forthcoming from Lexington Press. 
Billy Dunaway Associate Professor
553 Lucas | 516-6195 | dunawayw@umsl.edu  C.V. | website
Billy DunawayBilly Dunaway received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2013. He held a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Oxford for two years before joining the UMSL faculty in 2015. He works on various topics in ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of language. These include: the fundamentality of ethical facts, practical reasoning and vagueness in ethics, and the relationship between the grounds of ethical facts and what we can know about them. His papers have appeared in Philosophical Studies, Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Perspectives, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Oxford Studies in Metaethics, among other places.  
David Griesedieck Teaching Professor
552 Lucas | 516-6190 | davidgr@umsl.edu | C.V.
John Brunero
David Griesedieck, born 1943, earned his BA from St. Benedicts College (Kansas)in 1964 and his MA in philosophy from Princeton (1967) and MA in mathematics from UMSL (1988). He has been a member of the UMSL Department of Philosophy since Fall 1970. My chief scholarly interest has always been the study of Oriental philosophy in its various forms. It is a tremendous challenge to try to bring out the meaning of these ancient philosophical texts. The subject matter and the methodology are often quite different from what we are used to in Western philosophy. I believe that if one can get a clear idea of just what is so different about Indian or Chinese philosophy, one will then have an insight into the most basic questions of philosophy and life. For example, by studying Eastern conceptions of freedom and bondage, we can gain new and decisive perspectives on the classic Western problem of freedom of the will.
Jon McGinnis Professor and Chair
550 Lucas | 516-5439 | mcginnisjd@umsl.ed | C.V. | Selected Works
Jon McGinnis
Jon McGinnis is a Greco-Arabist who also has interest in medieval Latin science, philosophy and theology. He received a M.A. in Church History from the University of North Texas (1991) and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania (2000), where he worked jointly in the Department of Philosophy and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. As a graduate student he was a research fellow at Harvard University in the Department of the History of Science, as well as a Fulbright scholar to Egypt. Since coming to UMSL, he has received numerous grants and fellowships from such organizations as the University of Missouri Research Board Award, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew Mellon Foundation as well as having been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is currently the Secretary-Treasurer of the Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy. In addition to numerous articles and chapters on various aspects of ancient and medieval physics and metaphysics, he is the author of Avicenna (Oxford University Press), translator and editor of Avicenna’s The Physics of the Healing (Brigham Young University Press) and, with David C. Reisman, translator of Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources (Hackett). All in all, Jon thinks that life is pretty good, but better with a cup of coffee.
Lauren Olin Assistant Professor 
549 Lucas | 516-6194 | olinl@umsl.edu | Website
Lauren Olin’s research is located squarely in the philosophy of cognitive science, though many of the questions she engages may readily be called ethical or epistemological.  Her current interests involve both theoretical and empirical research on patterns of evaluative judgment, psychopathology, and epistemic dispositions.  She has authored or co-authored papers for journals such as Philosophical Studies,Synthese, Transcultural Psychiatry, and Philosophy Compass. Lauren earned her BA in Philosophy from McGill University in Montreal, and her MA and PhD from the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology program at Washington University in St. Louis.
Gualtiero Piccinini Curators' Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
565 Lucas | 516-6160 | piccininig@umsl.edu | C.V. Website
Gualtiero Piccinini
Gualtiero Piccinini works primarily in philosophy of mind, with an eye to psychology, neuroscience, and computer science. His main current interests include computational theories of mind, the relation between psychology and neuroscience, consciousness, and intentionality. In 2003, he graduated from the department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Between 2003 and 2005, he was a James S. McDonnell Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Since 2005, he has been a member of the Philosophy Department at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. Prof. Piccinini's articles have been published in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research,Philosophy of ScienceAustralasian Journal of PhilosophyPhilosophical StudiesNeural NetworksSyntheseCanadian Journal of PhilosophyStudies in the History and Philosophy of ScienceJournal of Consciousness Studies, and Minds and Machines.
Waldemar Rohloff 
Associate Teaching Professor and Undergraduate Adviser 
568 Lucas | 516-6192 | rohloffw@umsl.edu | C.V. | Website
John Brunero
Waldemar Rohloff received his Ph.D. in 2007 from the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of California, Irvine. His main interests are in the philosophy of science and mathematics and the history of modern philosophy. He regularly teaches courses on logic and on the history of philosophy.
Eric Wiland Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies
551 Lucas | 516-5495 | wiland@umsl.edu | C.V. | Website
John Brunero
Eric Wiland (University of Chicago, 1997) works primarily on topics in ethics and practical reason. He investigates problems in practical philosophy by thinking about people who have various cognitive and motivational flaws, especially those who recognize that they have such flaws. He is the author of Guided by Voices (Oxford, 2021) and Reasons (Continuum, 2012).

Emeritus Faculty

Robert Gordon Professor Emeritus 
Dr. GordonRobert Gordon (Ph.D., Columbia) retired from teaching in 2002 but continues to work in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. He is best known for the theory, first introduced in 1986, that we understand others, predict and explain their actions and emotions, by mentally simulating them. This "simulation theory" challenged a view that had been widely accepted in philosophy and psychology, that understanding others is a kind of impersonal theorizing, an application of "belief-desire psychology," an implicit theory of mental states. The “theory versus simulation debate” soon became a topic of interest among developmental psychologists as well as philosophers and later received attention in linguistics, social cognitive neuroscience, and social robotics. Hundreds of papers and numerous books have been written on the topic, as well as several encyclopedia articles. Gordon has lectured on the topic in Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, the UK, and the US. He has held several research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, and in 1999 he directed a Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers, sponsored by the NEH. He chaired the program committee of the 2004 annual meeting of the Central division of the American Philosophical Association. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Helsinki and at Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands.

Gordon's influential work on the topic of emotion attributions was published in Philosophical Review, American Philosophical Quarterly, Analysis, Journal of Philosophy, and in his book, "The Structure of Emotions" (Cambridge University Press, 1987)

In an update of the simulation theory, Gordon argues that the human brain interprets the behavior of others by testing hypothetical ways of generating that behavior, a process of "analysis by synthesis," similar to processes known to be involved in vision and speech perception. In his chapter in a book in cognitive neuroscience, "The Neural Basis of Mentalizing" (Springer Nature, 2021), he suggests that the existence of such a mechanism would have major consequences for the concept of knowledge, a point Gordon is developing in other papers.
Ronald Munson Professor Emeritus
557 Lucas | 516-5631 | munson@umsl.edu | C.V.

Ronald Munson received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology at Harvard University. He taught as a Preceptor in Philosophy at Columbia College (Columbia University) and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Diego, the Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has served as bioethicist for a National Institutes of Health multicenter study, the National Cancer Institute, the Monsanto Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, and the Washington University School of Medicine Human Subjects Committee. His expertise is in medical ethics and the philosophy of science and medicine. His articles have appeared in Philosophy of ScienceBritish Journal for the Philosophy of ScienceHistory and Philosophy of ScienceJournal of Medicine and PhilosophyKennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and New England Journal of Medicine. His work has also been anthologized numerous times. He has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for Humanities, the Weldon Spring Fund, and the National Science Foundation. His book Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics (Wadsworth), now in its 7th ed., is the most widely used medical ethics text in the United States. His other books include Reasoning in Medicine: An Introduction to Clinical Inference (with Daniel Albert, M.D. and Michael Resnik, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins), The Way of Words (Houghton-Mifflin), Man and Nature: Philosophical Issues in Biology (Delacorte), Elements of Reasoning, 5th ed. (with Andrew Black, Wadsworth). His most recent books are Outcome Uncertain: Cases and Contexts in Bioethicsand Raising the Dead: Social and Ethical Issues in Organ Transplantation (Oxford University Press). He has acted as a source on biomedical ethics and been interviewed by (among others) the New York TimesWashington-Post, U.S. News and World ReportSt. Louis Post-Dispatch,Science DigestSmithsonian Magazine. He has appeared on ABC Evening News, ABC Morning News, Today Show, Fox News Network, Brian Williams and the News, NBC National Radio, NYC Radio, National Public Radio, and BBC Radio. He consulted on the ethical aspects of gene therapy for Japanese National Television. Ronald Munson is the author of three well-received novels: Nothing Human (Pocket Books Hardcover; Pocket Books, paper; British Edition published by Simon and Schuster, Ltd.); Literary Guild Alternate Selection, Selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Mystery Guild; translated into Swedish and German; optioned for film; Fan Mail (Dutton; Discus, paper); Book of the Month Club Alternate Selection; starred review in Publisher's Weekly; translated into German, Japanese, Dutch, and French; made into a German radio play; optioned for film. Night Vision (Dutton; Signet, paper); translated into Dutch, Swedish, and German. Interviews and reviews have appeared in such places as PeopleLos Angeles TimesSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Miami Herald, as well as on CNN, Unsolved Mysteries, and Aspecta (German National Television).


Stephanie Ross Professor Emeritus
561 Lucas | 516-5634 | sross@umsl.edu | C.V.
John Brunero
Stephanie Ross received her B.A. from Smith College in 1971 and her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1977. Most of her research focuses on issues in the philosophy of art. In addition to a book on garden aesthetics, What Gardens Mean (University of Chicago Press, 1998), she has published articles on a range of topics including allusion, modern music, women and fiction, musical conducting, the death of art, landscape appreciation, and aesthetic qualities. She has also contributed invited encyclopedia entries and handbook articles on such topics as expression, the picturesque, and artistic style. Taffy's present project is a book - tentatively titled "Two Thumbs Up: How Critics Aid Appreciation" - that will propose a neo-Humean account of our transactions with works of art. The book will explore the nature of critical disagreement and the prospects for realism in aesthetic by taking up questions like these: If you encounter a work of art and deem it to be amusing, colorful, bombastic, and original, does the work possess each of these qualities? Does it possess them in the same way? Can you convince others that this is the case? Is there a right way to appreciate each work of art? Are there experts who can guide us in these matters? What reason might we have to follow their advice? How should we seek them out? Might most of us manage only partial or imperfect appreciation of the art we encounter?

Affiliated Faculty

Keith Miller Orthwein Endowed Professor for Lifelong Learning in the Science
101 Marillac | 516-4828 |  millerkei@umsl.edu  | C.V.